Baths, Toilets, Sinks & Taps

How to Replace a Toilet

Difficulty rating: High

Knowing how to remove and replace a toilet is likely to be quite challenging; these tasks should only be attempted by an expert or when supported by experienced advice and guidance.

Before you get started on any of our ‘how to’ guides, please take a moment to read through our DIY safety tips.

What You’ll Need:


Top Tips:

  • If you’re uncertain about a step contact a plumber before you continue.
  • Always use PTFE tape on compression joints, never a silicone sealant.
  • Have some old towels ready in case of spillages.
  • Check there aren’t any pipes or cables before drilling into walls or floors.
  • If you’re drilling though tiles put some masking tape over the spot you are about to drill to prevent the tile from cracking.
  • Make sure the wall plugs are inserted past the tile’s glaze to prevent the tile from cracking when the screw goes in.
  • Never reuse the original fittings as the seals may be corroded.
  • Don’t put bleach blocks into your new cistern as they can damage the rubber seals.

Step-by-step toilet installation guide

1. Disconnect your water supply

  • Isolate the water supply to the toilet either locally or at the mains.
  • Flush the toilet to empty the cistern.
  • Disconnect the water feed from the inlet valve.

2. Remove your existing toilet

  • Remove any fixings and gently pull the toilet away from the soil pipe.
  • Carefully dispose of the toilet as there may still be some water in the pan and cistern.

3. Prepare your new toilet

  • Assemble the toilet according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • To ensure it doesn’t have any leaks, pour a couple of litres of water into the cistern, leave it to stand (ideally outside) for an hour and then check all the seals.
  • Position the newly assembled toilet in front of its final position.

4. Connect the new toilet

  • Insert a new pan connector into the soil outlet pipe, being careful not to damage or dislodge any seals or gaskets. A lubricant can help here.
  • Gently slide the toilet outlet into the connecter by pushing the whole toilet back and into place.

5. Reconnect your water supply

  • Connect your water supply to the inlet valve via a 15mm isolation valve, ensure that PTFE tape is used on all the compression joints.
  • Open the inlet/isolation valves to fill the cistern, then test for leaks by flushing.
  • If there aren’t any leaks fix the toilet into position with the fittings supplied


All installations will be different. These instructions should only be used as a general guide. Please always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions. If you are in any doubt whatsoever about how to carry out any of the steps, please seek professional advice before attempting to replace a toilet. 



Writer and expert